Sunday, August 17, 2008

The 7 Dirty Words of SOA

I recently had a conversation with one of my good friends at IBM. He had mentioned that IBM is doing a better job of differentiating between "Business SOA" and "I.T. SOA". Interesting... what did he mean? After drilling him with questions it came down to this:

- I.T SOA is about running a more efficient Information Technology group

- Business SOA is about creating new information products and capabilities

This resonated with me. It sounded very similar to the conversations I've had with people at SAP. They have positioned SOA as a technology enabler to their large suite of business applications. They sell business solutions. And as one SAP insider put, "... and of course those solutions are Service Oriented... it's 2008!"

These conversations were music to my ears. IBM and SAP are both back to attacking business problems and are making the assumption that SOA is in place and acts as the enabler.

In Business SOA we need to think about a new set of "Business SOA Patterns":

- How do we deliver new business products through new channels?

- How do we deliver more/better information to our distributors, retailers and consumers?

- How will consolidated/shared information lead to a tighter supply chain?

It's been too many years of people talking about ESB's and other I.T. focused trivia. With that said, the 7 Dirty Words of SOA are:
  1. Loose Coupling

  2. Abstraction

  3. Reuse

  4. Autonomous

  5. Discoverability

  6. Composability

  7. Interoperability

Yes, it's time to move past "I.T. SOA"...

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